Work Plan FAQ

The GRASP work plan is the cornerstone of the program. This page is intended to be a resource for active participants. Listed below are frequently asked questions and answers. If you have a question not listed, please contact us at


What is a GRASP work plan?

Fundamental to the program is the belief that to be successful one must adequately plan for and project manage their grant applications. To support this, each participant is provided a customized work plan developed (and routinely updated) by GRASP faculty. Using a timeline of a four- or five-year Career Development Award, the work plan maps out annual tasks required to successfully apply for NIH R01 or equivalent funding, with the goal of minimizing a gap in funding. Work plans are provided to participants through individual Google Sheets and are shared during the orientation workshop. Google Sheets easily facilitates collaboration between the GRASP team and participants.

How often should I review and update my work plan?

We recommend reviewing your work plan tasks at least once a month and updating your work plan as needed. However, as each work plan is individualized, you are welcome to review it more frequently. Most participants spend about 15-30 minutes a month working on their work plans. 

Who are GRASP work plan mentors and what is their role?

Work plan mentors are a group of recent GRASP graduates who participated in the program during their K awards and have since obtained R01 funding. They are each assigned a group of GRASP participant work plans to review, provide feedback/guidance, and answer grant-related questions. Bio and photos of the mentors can be found on the program leadership page

Why is my work plan mentor in a different field of research than me?

Work plan mentors provide grant-related support as an independent near peer who has recently been awarded R01 funding. Since they provide grant-related guidance, we do not believe they need to work in your field of research. We encourage all participants to leverage this unique relationship. 

How do I contact my work plan mentor?

You can contact your  work plan mentor  via your Google Sheet. Since Google Sheets are a collaborative document, your mentor will have direct access to your work plan. To ask a question, you simply need to add it in as a comment. For more urgent questions, you can reach out to the GRASP team by emailing

How often is my work plan reviewed by my mentor and what is the process of providing feedback?

Mentors will review participant work plans every three months. Feedback will be via direct messages and comments added as comments to your work plan. They will check in on your progress and will answer any questions submitted via your work plan. The GRASP team will send an email to remind you that your work plan is about to be reviewed. 

The work plan is a great idea, but this is not my project management style. Do I have to use it?

We understand that a work plan is not everyone’s project management style, however, we ask that all GRASP participants use their work plan to stay on track and remain engaged in the program. As mentioned, the time commitment is limited to approximately 15-30 minutes per month to review your tasks, update your work plan as necessary, and to ask questions to your mentor.

I have logistical questions regarding my work plan (example: I need assistance with updating my submission timeline or I don’t know how to do something else), who should I contact?

GRASP staff have weekly office hours to meet with participants who need assistance formatting their work plan or have logistical or other questions. To set up a meeting, email

Can I share my work plan with others?

Yes. We encourage you to share your work plan with your mentor and any other collaborators. It can be referenced when reviewing progress towards your grant submission. 

How do I review comments made by my work plan reviewer?

You can review these comments by locating the comment’s box on the top right-hand corner of your google sheet. The comments box icon looks like a speech balloon with several lines in it. Once you click on the icon you will be able to see all comments in your Google Sheet.

How do I see the full details related to each task?

Each task on your work plan has detailed sub-tasks. These sub-tasks are automatically hidden and to view them you must click the ‘+’ sign on the left of each task. It is critical that you expand tasks as you move through the work plan, as the subtasks contain important content.

I can’t find my work plan, what should I do?

Your work plan was shared with you via a Google Sheet link in an email that was sent before the Orientation Workshop. We ask participants to share their work plans with their Gmail accounts so you can  access your work plan by navigating to your Google Drive and searching for the file name ‘Your Last Name_Work Plan’. If you are unable to locate your work plan, please email and we can send you the link. 

I need advice/have questions related to my grant submission(s) and would like to meet with a faculty member. How do I schedule a faculty office hour?

We hold weekly office hours where faculty answer complex grant-related questions and address other concerns.